As stated in an earlier news update and in COVID-19 vaccines and workplace health and safety | Ontario.ca, screening is an important control measure required in all workplaces. Vaccinated workers must continue to be screened and follow the directions on what actions to take. Generally, these remain the same as for unvaccinated workers.
There are several common side-effects of vaccination (i.e., headache, muscle ache/joint pain, fatigue) that are the same as symptoms of COVID-19. The Ministry of Health recently released Guidance for Employers Managing Workers with Symptoms within 48 Hours of COVID-19 Immunization that provides information on screening in the few days following vaccination and specific requirements for workers experiencing such symptoms shortly after vaccination.
Key points include:
- Active screening of workers prior to each shift must include vaccinated workers
- All workers, including vaccinated workers, must continue to follow all public health and workplace control measures
In the 48 hours after receiving a vaccination, workers who are experiencing:
a. COVID-19 symptoms and/or have a known exposure to someone with confirmed COVID-19 in the last 14 days:
- should not attend work in-person
- should self-isolate and be tested for COVID-19
b. mild headache, fatigue, and/or muscle ache/joint pain that began after they received their vaccination and who is experiencing no other COVID-19 screening symptoms:
- may be permitted to enter the facility/workplace, and
- in addition to following all workplace control measures, must wear a mask for source control (e.g. a surgical/procedure mask) for the entire duration of their shift at work, even if not normally required at the workplace
- masks may only be removed to consume food or drink and the individual must remain at least two metres away from others when their mask is removed for this purpose
The COVID-19 Screening Tool for Businesses and Organizations (Screening Workers) has been revised to incorporate these requirements and include the appropriate directions.
Online: COVID-19 worker and employee screening (ontario.ca)
PDF: COVID-19 Screening Tool for Businesses and Organizations (Screening Workers) (ontario.ca)
Online: Dépistage de la COVID-19 pour les travailleurs et les employés (ontario.ca)
PDF: Outil de dépistage de la COVID-19 pour les entreprises et les organismes (dépistage des travailleurs) (ontario.ca)